Professor Brandon Taylor - Senior Research Fellow in Faculty Media, Arts and Society
‘Introduction’ and ‘Revulsion/Matter’s Limits’
in Sculpture and Psychoanalysis
Ashgate Press and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2006
This is an edition of new essays in the Subject/Object series, published by the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds and Ashgate Press under the series editorship of Penelope Curtis. The book comprises of essays by eleven authors with research interests in the network of relations between modern sculpture and psychoanalysis. They are Martin Golding (Cambridge UK), Simon Baker (Nottingham UK), Tim Martin (Leicester UK), Ann Wagner (Berkely USA), David Hulks (Norwich UK), Alyce Mahon (Cambridge UK), Grant Pooke (Kent UK), Mignon Nixon (London UK), Brian Grosskurth (Toronto), Georges Didi-Huberman (Paris France), and the author (Southampton UK). My contributions to the written text are two in number: an Introduction to the book as a whole, and an essay on 'Revulsion' as a concept in sculpture, arising from the use of viscous or liquid matter and discussed by Sartre, Kolnai and others, and used by Morris, Kabakov and some 'anti-form' sculptors of the recent past. Central to the concerns of the essays, which cover the work of celebrated modern sculptors including Barbara Hepworth, Lyn Chadwick, Eva Hesse, Jean-Jaques Lebel, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Gilbert and George, and Rebecca Horn, are the processes of Freudian and Kleinian psychoanalysis - splitting, projection, sublimation, identification, and the schizoid and reparative mechanisms - as well as Lacan's stade du mirroir and the 'objet petit a' as they arise in the materials and concepts of art. The editors believe this is the first book devoted to this topic. It is published in hardback and is illustrated in black and white.
Published in the USA as Contemporary Art: Art since 1970, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2005
ISBN 0-13-183729-X (paper), 0-13-118174-2 (case),
Published as Aktualnoe iskusstvo 1970-2005, Slovo, Moscow, 2006
This book provides a narrative of 'advanced' art and critical thinking in Western art from the 1970s to 2005. Ranging across painting and sculpture as well as 'new' media such as film, video and performance in its early chapters, the book charts the interplay of artistic form and political and critical ideas, from feminism to globalization, from conceptual art to installation and complexity theory in the context of digital media. Major sections devoted to 'The Politics of Painting', 'Images and Things', 'In and Beyond the Museum', 'Marks of Identity', 'Other Territories' and 'A New Complexity', traverse the rise of international art across West Coast America to the Soviet east. These sections analyse the rise of the new museum, the power of the curator, and the collapse of modernist ideals in art. It provides challenging analyses of major international artists, critics and their works. The book is fully illustrated in colour with a web-site index and a time-line, and subsequently published in the USA as Contemporary Art: Art Since 1970 (Prentice Hall, New York) and in Russia in 2006 as Aktualnoe iskusstvo 1970-2005, Slovo, Moscow.
Collage: The Making of Modern Art
Published in French as Collage: l’invention des avant-gardes, Editions Hazan, Paris 2005
This is the first full-length illustrated book since the 1950s to examine the fertile experimental techniques of collage in the fine arts. Alongside its sister techniques, montage, assemblage, and décollage, collage has occupied a place in the laboratory phases of all the major modernist movements in art, from Cubism, Surrealism and Dada, through Beat culture and the painting and sculpture innovations of post-war art. In seeking to transform the discarded scraps and residues of everyday life, the technique found opportunities for rupture, playful artifice and revolutionary juxtaposition. The book also examines the hitherto neglected worlds of Surrealist art in Prague, on the West Coast of America, and in the Soviet bloc before 1989. As well as the better-known contexts of the Independent Group in London, architectural collage, and 'late' exemplars such as political montage during the 1970s, various revivals in the period of Punk and Postmodernism and the use of collage in digital imagery. Collage: The Making of Modern Art is illustrated in colour and black and white and has an index and bibliography. It has been translated into French and published as Collage: l'Invention des avant-gardes, Paris 2005, and re-issued in English in a paperback edition in 2006.
‘Foreigners and Fascists: patterns of hostility to modern art in Britain before and after the First World War’
in The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past 1880-1940
Studies in British Art (14)
This article investigates denunciations of 'modern' art by right wing or rear-guard critics in the period 1904 to 1928. The even more extreme stereotype of modern art as a virulent disease upon the public body, activated by foreign opportunism and commerce and underwritten by Jews, proved durable and effective. The controversy over the application of funds from the Chantrey Bequest is one example, in which the fulminations of Ebenezer Wake Cook played a significant public part. Cook's accusations of decadence and malformity were inflected with anti-semitic and xenophobic taunts, supported by leading lights in the Royal Academy. Jewish modernists such as Gertler and others, notably Jacob Epstein, became the focus of public scandals, fanned by reactionary journals such as The Briton, Plain English, and the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1924). The article traces the vituperative criticism of The Morning Post and other organs through to the drawing-room fascism of major parts of the British establishment in the face of modernist experiment with artistic form. The rear-guard position of PRA Alfred Munnings and his ally the journalist Lionel Lindsay underscores this unfortunate tendency in British culture. Studies of rear-guard criticism are few in number. The present article is the first to look in any depth at the underlying political affiliations of influential voices in English criticism of the period, from The Morning Post to the Royal Academy of Art, and opens the door to further studies of the innate cultural conservatism of the British establishment, up to and including the monarchy, in the inter-war period.